Aug 27 2009

East Indian Bafat (Shrimp and Vegetable Curry)

Published by at 11:43 am under Indian,Seafood

This is my all time favorite curry. A hot and tangy dish that is completely irresistible and a complete meal in itself. Its got the veggies, shrimp (protein) and carbs(rice & potatoes). Traditionally this dish is made with dried Bombay Ducks. Other dried fish or shrimp can be used as well.

This curry brings back fond memories of home. Its a fave with everyone in the family. On a wet monsoon day, this is a perfect curry with rice and Chinese Okra fritters (recipe coming soon). This is a curry that is usually found made in Vasai, which is a suburb of Bombay, among the East Indian catholic community. I learned to make it from my mom who in turned learned it from my grandma. Every cook has a special way of making it. My grand aunt Mary (Mary Aatu) also makes a great version of this using her pressure cooker.

My dear cousin Aashoo keeps requesting me for more recipes of curries to go with rice (dhaan ke upar Kaanji), because her husband loves them. She probably knows this one, and I know for sure its her favorite too. I hope she will comment on this one and share her secrets to this recipe.

East Indian Bafat

1/2 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 large potato
1/2 cup of valor beans shelled
4 small eggplants
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
2 tsp grated ginger
tamarind about the size of 1 lime
6 curry leaves
2 Tbsp meat masala
1 and 1/2 cups of water
coriander to garnish
1 Tbsp cooking oil

In a microwave safe bowl, add the tamarind and 1/2 cup of water. Cook in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Using your fingers to squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind. You may also use 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate and combine it with 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside.

In a 3 quart cooking pot heat the oil on medium heat. Add the curry leaves (stand back to avoid getting splattered). Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Dice the potato into about 1 inch cubes and add them to the onions. Season with salt. Let the potatoes cook for about 5 minutes. Cut the eggplants in quarters and add to the pot along with the valor beans and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes. Add the meat masala and stir well to coat all the veggies.

Add the tamarind pulp to the veggies and stir. Add the remaining 1 cup of water (you may add more if you need more curry). Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the veggies are almost cooked. Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.


  • Always add the salt in layers. Add some after every addition of the main ingredients. In this case, add some after the onions, potatoes, beans and eggplants. Add enough salt to flavor the ingredient you are adding and you are guaranteed the right amount of salt at the end of cooking.
  • If you have trouble finding valor beans, you can used shelled edamame.
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8 responses so far

8 Responses to “East Indian Bafat (Shrimp and Vegetable Curry)”

  1. Aashooon 27 Sep 2009 at 12:48 pm

    hey avanti,

    of course, i love bafat! in vasai, who doesn’t?

    sometimes i go completely vegetarian and make bafat using only the veggies. its delicious but be careful to add just a little water. also try using cocum instead of tamarind. bafat is a curry that tastes good when it matures. so leave it around to cool and serve after 5-6 hours.

    i remember coming home from college in the evenings and relishing the bafat and plain rice which was cooked in the morning. i have yet to taste anything equally delicious.

    its not only my husband, but my little anna too loves bafat. she demands it everyday. so i have one more “dhaan ke upar kaanji” type in the family now.


  2. Cynthiaon 31 Dec 2009 at 1:25 am

    Dear Avanti,
    I live in Vasai (Mulgaon)… I enjoyed reading your recipes. the pics by your husband are as appetizing as the recipes. Reading ur recipes tells me how much u probably miss Vasai and its cuisine. HAve a nioce new year
    Cynthia D’Costa

  3. avantion 31 Dec 2009 at 7:57 am

    Thanks Cynthia! Yes, I miss everything about Vasai.. from the beaches to the food. Glad to liked the recipes and the pictures as well. A Happy New Year to you as well.

  4. mariaon 04 Feb 2010 at 4:33 am

    please can you give me the recepie of bhujing

  5. avantion 04 Feb 2010 at 7:56 am

    Sure maria! Keep checking this site. I’ll post the recipe soon.

  6. Victoron 23 Apr 2010 at 4:55 am

    Hi can you please share the recipe of the dish i maybe wrong with the name but i guess its called fugais n is served in a typical east indian wedding

  7. avantion 23 Apr 2010 at 7:13 am

    I will try and post the recipe for Fugias soon..

  8. Nicolaon 17 Aug 2012 at 9:09 am

    Dear Avanti
    I loved reading the recipie will make it tomoro

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